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DENVER - Shoppers are more likely to buy a given beef item when the nutritional benefits of the product are available on-pack at the meat case, according to the results of an on-pack nutrition labeling test conducted in by the Beef Checkoff Program and Marsh Supermarkets.
The test was conducted in 2006, and validated findings from a 2003 pilot study.
"The results of the test confirmed that on-pack nutrition information is of value to our customers," said Dewayne Wulff, v.p./meat merchandising for Marsh Supermarkets, Inc. "As a result we have now implemented the program across all of our stores."
"The goal of our project was to document, through market research, the customer's response to fresh meat nutritional information on each package," said Randy Irion, director of retail marketing for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, which contracts to manage programs for the beef checkoff. "The results reveal that customers are more likely to purchase beef when the nutrition profile is displayed on-pack. We are pleased that they are responding favorably to this initiative."
The 16-week on-pack nutrition test - conducted in both Marsh units and the chain's LoBill stores -- revealed that by reading the labels, more than 50 percent of customers learned more about beef's nutrition contribution to a healthy diet.
On-pack nutritional labeling increased both dollar and pound sales of beef for both banner chains. Marsh Supermarkets experienced increases of six percentage points in dollar sales and one percentage point in pound sales compared to similar control stores. LoBill Foods stores saw increases of two percentage points in dollar sales and four percentage points in pound sales compared to control stores.
Point-of-sale merchandising has been a key component of the on-pack program. The POS highlights the key nutrients found in beef -protein, zinc, iron and B-Vitamins. In addition, information in weekly ads draw attention the program. The key messages include:
-- "Beef, an excellent source of protein to help your body build lean muscles."
-- "Beef, an excellent source of zinc to help your body fight colds and flu."
-- "Beef, a good source of iron to help give you energy for daily activities."
-- "Beef, a good source of B-Vitamins to help your body turn food into energy."
For more information about the on-pack nutrition labeling program, visitwww.BeefRetail.org.